Nearly every company will find themselves, at some point, in need of professional-level writing. For many operations, there are a number of procedures, policies, and other documents that need to be regularly reviewed and updated on a normal basis; while some businesses may be lucky enough to have hired someone with skill in writing already, that doesn’t necessarily mean that person will have the time to do so. Plus, in today’s quickly-growing online world, online content is becoming king of the hill: according to one report, content marketing can provide three times the leads when compared to traditional marketing, while costing 62% less. In fact, Forbes recommends companies designate 25 to 30 percent of their marketing budget to content marketing. Since content marketing almost always requires a skilled writer, businesses have started to look for ways to get writing done that will provide quantity and quality to their blogs and social media accounts.
There are a few options available for companies looking to improve their written words, no matter what kind of content.
Hiring a full-time in-house writer gives a business one person dedicated to making all of their work consistent and high quality, but hiring comes at a big upfront cost and full-time employees also cost the company in benefits.
Working with an agency takes most of the work out of your hands, since agencies will also act as project managers in terms of getting you content, but they can be expensive, and you may never get to talk directly to the person (or people) who write for you.
Hiring a freelance writer gives you one dedicated individual who you’ll pay based on hours worked or words written, rather than on a salary. Freelance writers usually come with extensive experience in multiple relevant fields; the biggest challenge is usually finding one you’d like to work with.
Comparing costs across all three options is hard to do since the type of work freelance writers do varies so much. However, there are a few important things a freelance writer can provide that make them an attractive choice for nearly any project.
Better Use of Company Money and Time
As mentioned above, hiring a freelancer might be the most financially favorable option: since you’re hiring on contract, your company won’t have to cover benefits, and you won’t have to pay the fees most agencies add to their content subscription options. That doesn’t mean you want to lowball your writing expert, but it does save you the cost of a full hire. In addition, freelance writers come in knowing the tricks of the trade. Experienced online content creators will already know how to best use SEO tools and work keywords into their phrasings. Many also know basic HTML and CSS, and can manage posting an article with images to a blog. Most know the best ways to edit their own articles for clarity and purpose, so there won’t be an added step beyond the company’s approval. These skills are becoming the standard for freelance writers.
In addition, a freelance writer will save the company time as well. Someone on your team will need to provide a list of subjects and information about style, company voice, and format — but that’s a lot less time than taking an existing employee and expecting them to learn everything about content marketing as soon as possible. Freelance writers are used to working for themselves; they’re motivated to put out high-quality pieces on schedule, since their work is their brand. It takes very little management to get a good freelancer going for your company.
Direct Communication With a Partner
When you work with an agency, you usually have a contact person who takes your requests and distributes them to their internal team of writers. You won’t know who’s writing for you this week, what their strengths are, or whether they understand what they’re being asked to create. In some cases, your work may be farmed out to content mills: writers with less experience who are trying to put out as many articles as possible per day and don’t have the time to create a unique, quality piece. Working with a single freelance writer solves this issue. You’ll have a single person you communicate with directly, who then knows how to put what you want into the piece. Plus, you’ll know you have the same person for every piece, so you’ll only have to explain things once.
It’s a relationship that can grow over time. Your freelancer will become accustomed to your needs, and may end up having recommendations for new content based on their previous experience. They’ll have a vested interest in making sure your business is satisfied, for a reason other than their own bottom line: freelance writers often look to build a partnership over time, because long-term business is more important for them than immediate money. Developing this kind of business relationship will mean both of you are fully invested in the work being successful; you’ll get personalized service from the start.
Better Quality Work
Documentation of poor quality frustrates not just your users, but your own staff as well. Typos may send users to a dead end or destroy your well-planned SEO; bad grammar will quickly make readers back out of your article to find another. Freelancers are well aware that writing is a competitive market, and their work needs to be near-perfect. They’ll be well used to proofreading and editing quickly so that their writing is top-notch, and won’t rely on spellcheck and grammar programs that can easily gloss over things like homonyms.
Most freelancers come from a different sort of background, as well, which means you’re likely able to find someone who understands the kind of business your company does, too. And since freelance writers like to build that personal relationship, you’ll end up with someone who has a much better idea about your products, processes, and preferences. In a field where uniquely tailored content helps you stand out over generic filler, hiring a freelance writer is a great way to get there.